observations and think about the meaning of what I have seen.
Speaking of watching, here is a poem about quail, connecting to Wanda’s blog posting about quail. I read somewhere that as we get older we tend to become even more interested in birds, and I think that is true:
This Morning I Saw Two…
then seven quail
pop to the top of our fence.
The males wore crisper whites and blacks
in patterns about the head and crest,
a rich auburn breast,
while females tended towards gray
elegant in their more demure way.
The seven sat feather to feather
(no youngsters close by,
it being late November)
their heads bobbing up and down
necks turning back and forth,
seven fat quail on our fence this morning
busily taking a quiet moment in the sun
before hopping down one by one
to forage beneath the orchid rock rose.
My eyes must be wired directly to my spirit.
(The blind or those
who will not see
do they have detours into the soul?)
Last year a western tanager
flashed his brilliant yellow and orange
among the oaks,
burning a hole into my soul’s retina.
It seems to me that many of my poems, like this one, pose questions about what I have watched. I have got many more questions than answers. I like to take a single incident or object and try to draw larger conclusions. Although I try to be accurate in my thinking, I realize that I am often mistaken, misguided.
As we age, we tend to think that we know so much more than anybody else, especially than younger people. The philosopher Montaigne, however, warned us older folks that we just get more arrogant, petulant, and that we are frequently wrong. I agree. To find modern examples, just look at the letters to the editor any day in the local newspaper.
I have gotten poems accepted over the many years that I have been writing. Most have gone into small magazines. I’ve had work accepted into a couple of anthologies, one on living in Southern California and the other on marriage. I even had the poem from the Southern California anthology published years later into a college textbook of California literature. I have no idea what it was doing in there because I don’t think of myself writing literature.